Sunday Vigil

Deel Op


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Galatians 3,22-29

As it is, scripture makes no exception when it says that sin is master everywhere; so the promise can be given only by faith in Jesus Christ to those who have this faith. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the Law, locked up to wait for the faith which would eventually be revealed to us. So the Law was serving as a slave to look after us, to lead us to Christ, so that we could be justified by faith. But now that faith has come we are no longer under a slave looking after us; for all of you are the children of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus, since every one of you that has been baptised has been clothed in Christ. There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither slave nor freeman, there can be neither male nor female -- for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And simply by being Christ's, you are that progeny of Abraham, the heirs named in the promise.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul reminds the Galatians that the legacy promised by God to Abraham - "I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you" (Gen 17:7) now belongs to Jesus. It is a covenant that passed also through the Law that was given to the people of Isarel on Mount Sinai. However the whole pre-Christian story, first with Abraham and then with Israel, was a long preparation for the final covenant with Jesus Christ, who saves us from sin and death. He is the sole and universal heir of the Abrahamic promises. Salvation therefore cannot come from the Law but from following Jesus Christ. Of course, the Law was not useless. It had a preparatory value. As the apostle says: "The law was our disciplinarian," but only until we were "justified by faith." Jesus' disciples are no longer under the "disciplinarian," i.e. under supervision. Once "faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian" we live in the freedom of being "in Christ Jesus ... children of God through faith." The Apostle emphasises a direct relationship with God through faith in Christ. Believers - explains the Apostle - are "clothed with Christ" through baptism, and thus become new creatures. It is in this context that the Apostle shows the Galatians the extraordinary novelty of the Gospel: "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female." These few words show the strength of the Gospel of Jesus: it breaks down every separation, every wall of division. It pushes towards a new unity. The Apostle states clearly: "For all of you are one in Christ Jesus." Belonging to Christ should make us rediscover the changing power of Abraham's faith: he left everything to share in God's dream of making all humanity fraternal. In this time of globalisation, this dream of God is even more evident. And the Lord entrusts it once again into our hands.